Lines in the sand

Where do we draw the line and who or what gives us the right?

As a parent, my line is to protect my child until they are capable of making complex decisions for themselves. Sometimes I am going to get this wrong. Sometimes I might overprotect. My care is for them.

What is the line for my home? I draw a line to home invasions, people coming in with violent motives, people who bring hate, cruelty, disrespect. People who care less about either the home or its occupants, including animals. 

As a citizen, my actions affect others. What is my line around that? Do I care? Do I care if what I do causes another to potentially suffer? Have I even begun to think about the consequences of my rights and freedoms? I might want to drive at whatever speed I like and ignore traffic signals and road rules. I might want to throw my house waste in the river, not a care for the people downriver.

Do I want to live in a society that is a free for all – anyone can do whatever they like whenever they like, however they like?

Democracy and autocracy live on a continuum. A free for all, libertarian, no rules or boundaries society creates chaos and anarchy. No road rules, drive as you like.  

Too many rules and we stifle creativity and agency. 

Goldilocks had it right.

But how we do find the balance between an open society and rules? Especially when there is a serious allergy to any form of dominator hierarchy, where authority of any kind, autocracy, authorship are considered evil? 

Where do you put the line in the sand?

Drive how you like?

Smoke anywhere?

Cough over everyone?

Throw your rubbish on the ground?

Walk around with guns and knives.

Companies able to access all of your data and use it against you?

Governments able to access your data?

Paying tax or avoiding tax?

Companies able to profit off the commons and leave behind destruction?

Companies able to exploit human labour?

Care-less-ness for our collective future?

Nation-states who refuse entry of criminals, or nation-states who invite criminals, including those who avoid tax? 

Where is your line in the sand, and why have you placed it there?

**hint…if the answer is a version of no-one-tells-me-what-to-do, or I will not be coerced, or I demand my rights without any care of responsibilities…then you might ask how you feel when you give others the same rights and they blow smoke in your face, or shit on your lawn.

There is always a line in the sand. Democracy is not a free for all – it is a fine balance between individual rights and collective responsibility. A little autocracy is not a bad thing. 

Photo taken January 9th 2022

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